Although baseball is known as “America’s pastime,” the origins are suspected to be in the English game of “Rounders,” a game that is similar. Baseball’s first recorded game was in 1846, between the Knickerbocker Baseball Club vs. the New York Baseball Club--where the Knickerbockers won. Baseball grew continuously throughout the 19th century, as well as the 20th century, where it received mass popularity. In the 21st century, there are still many reasons why it is advantageous to play this game that has more than 150 years of history.
The first and foremost reason why many people play baseball is because it is a game, and games are meant to be fun. Baseball players find baseball entertaining for a variety of reasons, including that it is challenging. When players succeed at something that challenges them, they feel a higher reward than when succeeding at something that is not challenging. Baseball is also a breeding ground for competition, which is something that almost all athletes thrive on.
Whether in winning or in losing, sportsmanship is a time to respect players on the opposite end of the field. Learning sportsmanship--whether for kids or adults--easily can be done through the structure that baseball provides. It teaches tolerance for both winning and losing.
There are many instances where baseball mimics life. Teamwork is something that is required in every aspect of the game. When the team is on the field, every player has a responsibility, each of which is intertwined with other players on the field.
When one player does not perform, it is the entire team that suffers. When batting, each player that hits or gets on base can only score through the efforts of his teammates. The entire game is designed to be a collaborative effort; therefore, the game teaches people how to work better collectively as a team.
Although one of the often overlooked aspects of baseball, because it does not involve as much running as many other sports such as basketball and football, exercise is still a key benefit to baseball. The team that has athletes who are in better shape will usually play better, as the faster team is the team that gets on base and scores more quickly, as well as the team that can catch, field and throw balls more efficiently to get the opposite team out. Exercise is a key component to staying healthy, allowing people to feel better while living longer.
- Photo Credit baseball image by Tomasz Plawski from Fotolia.com